Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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Image result for trading places

Trading Places. A true American classic that breaks down society in a binary, Darwinian-esque way: win vs. lose, buy vs. sell, nature vs. nurture, white vs. black, rich vs. poor, and mustache vs. clean shaven. The genius of the movie is that all of it is masked via comedy. Kind of what we do here at Razzball. Holla!!!

In Grey’s Shortstops to Target piece, he went on a tangent over how certain “clowns” had Dansby Swanson ranked. Then THE Razzball Son signal went up and my brain immediately thought of Trading Places.

Before I explain why, let me ask you guys a very important question. For THE Razzball Son signal, do you prefer the Octonaughts siren (#DadLife), KRS-One, or Lion King? I need something because there’s obviously no big symbol shining in the sky. I’m open to any other recommendations as well.

Okay, back to the matter at hand. After THE Razzball Son signal went up and my brain thought of Trading Places, I pictured Klara Bell as Louis Winthorpe III and Grey as Billy Ray Valentine. Hey, Billy GREY Valentine!!! The Universe is a beautiful thing. AND they both have mustaches!!! I love you, Universe.

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On this very emotional episode of the Prospect Podcast Halp and I ask the big questions like; What am I going to do when I can’t cover Andrew Benintendi any longer? Why do bad injuries happen to good prospects (Tom Murphy>tear emoji)? Why is there a warning on mattress tags? Who’s the person that brought back Pepsi Clear? Actually we talk about pretty much none of that, and instead dive into the Top Rookies for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. We probably run through a good 35+ players and feel like there may even be some players we missed. It’s an episode for leagues of all shapes, sizes, and scoring. All the big names are discussed Swanson, Renfroe, Margot, Judge, and Bell. We cover them all, it’s what we do. Rookies are the best in March! It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

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You don’t really care about prospects, and I get that. You’re a redraft player, and probably a damn good one. You don’t want a top 100 list where half the guys won’t sniff a major league field for the next 2 years +. You need the right now, the rookie nookie, the sleepers in the waivers. The ones waiting in the weeds until the call comes, and the earliest bird plucks them minutes before the rest of the league, to a collective of moans and groans. This is the song of the RCL rookie scavenger. The man beating you to Trea Turner by 3 minutes, the guy who stashed Alex Bregman on and off for a month. You need to beat him this year, let this be your map, and the Twitter/MLB/Traderumors alerts be your batphone. I think I just mixed metaphors. Whatevs!!! You get the jist. Behold! The Top 25 Rookies for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. By the by, this list is 100% 2017 focused, so ETA, lack of a platoon or temporary fill-in status matters. I don’t care what he’s going to be in 2 years. THAT DOESN’T MATTER!!! It’s all about the right now, the present. I’m listening to Right Now by Van Halen. I’m wearing white jeans. I’m holding up signs that say, “Right now someone is drafting Ian Desmond unaware of his injury”. It’s that real.

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Last year, this post and the 2nd basemen to target were necessary evils like changing underwear.  Whether you wanted to or not, it was a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you were still expecting to get crapped on.  Now?  Well…. I like some late middle infielders, could see owning one, but there’s a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders, so there’s a chance I own an MI before I even reach the 100th pick overall.  In other words, I could own a shortstop, 2nd baseman and shortstop or 2nd baseman all in the first eight or so rounds.  Yeah, crazy time we live in.  In no other way is it a crazy time, except for fantasy baseball.  Then again, I have the 2016 election results on my DVR and I haven’t watched yet.  No one ruin the surprise!  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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There are some big names dropping this week. I am less worried about players with broken bones because for the most part they break, they heal. They play. Ligament, muscle, and other meaty bits of your body are a bit trickier to play with. So Ian Desmond and Tom Murphy? Will come back and be fine. Draft ‘em and stash ‘em for a month. Carlos Carrasco, Anthony deSclafani, Jason Kipnis and Sonny Gray? Cause me a bit more concern. These injuries can often linger or flare back up.

Here’s who’s meaty bits have been swelling, inflaming, and tightening this week:

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Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my pièce de résistance!! Yes, applaud for me, revel in my greatness. I even broke out a fancy accent marked phrase, who does that but a pretentious liberal arts major with delusions of grandeur? This is my title fight, the list for which all prospectors are measured. It’s my Top 100 Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball. Now that I’ve gotten beyond all the muckedy muck, let me explain a little about my list, and ranks. First: Yes I 100% factor in proximity, and it effects my rankings. Second: Upside is the most important factor. Third: Production in the minors matters to me. Unless it’s in a crazy ballpark (cough, cough FirstEnergy Stadium: Reading, Pa), or contradictory to batted ball data. I’ve been deep in my hole since early October breaking down every system in the minors, reviewing video on Youtube, looking at batted ball data, checking the stats, and reading any and every scouting report I can get my hands on. It’s one part eye test/ one part player profile/ one part production. I’ve been training all offseason for this, only my training involves sweat pants, a laptop, and lots of snacks. Speaking of snacks, I’m hungry let’s get into the list!! You already know who’s ranked first… It’s Top 100 Prospects day!

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Our 2017 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Kanye’s Runaway:

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Earlier this week, I posted the first six rounds of the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. You’re never going to believe this, but I’m now going to post rounds 7-12. At the end of it all, there will be four posts and 23 total rounds. It’s a lot of work, but you guys are worth it.

Here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I did the last time, I’ll post the rounds below with some of my thoughts beneath the picks. I’ll keep the thoughts brief since we have a bunch of rounds to get through. That pissed off at least one commenter last time who apparently wanted more Mike Maher analysis and less Mike Maher patting himself on the back. Let’s see if I can do better this time around…

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The shortstops are stacked, yo.  They are stacked like Dolly Parton on top of a stack of hotcakes.  There is gorge as far as the eye can see.  If a young boy happened upon this post, he would see love for the first time, then Norman Rockwell would paint him because it was the essence of Americana, if Norman Rockwell were alive and working as a caricature artist at a carnival.  I wanna roll around in these shortstops like I’m Natalie Wood rolling away from a drunk Robert Wagner.  Okay, enough hubbub!  If you’re just joining us, all the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  With each player is my projections and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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